Health-related quality of life: a population based study from Slovenia.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2011 Mar;19(1):7-12

Department of Family Medicine, Medical School, University of Maribor, Slovenia.

Objectives: Health status is represented by people's subjective assessment of their sense of well-being and ability to perform social roles and has been well accepted as a health indicator of different populations. The aim of this study was to determine health-related quality of life in Slovenian population.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional postal survey in a random stratified sample of 1,000 adult Slovenian inhabitants. The questionnaire consisted of the respondents' demographic data (sex, age, education level, employment status, living environment), self-reported chronic conditions, self-reported use of health services and EQ-5D instrument for measuring quality of life.

Results: The response rate was 41% (53.1% men, mean age 51.5 years). Respondents reported most problems in the pain dimension of EQ-5D (59.3%), following by mobility (30.4%), anxiety/depression (30.3%), daily activities (29.8%) and self-care (9.0%). At least one moderate problem was reported by 272 (66.3%) respondents. Independent factors, associated with problems in any EQ-5D dimension were primary and vocational education, older age, high blood pressure, rheumatic diseases, back problems, anxiety/depression, a visit to the emergency department in the past year, and a house visit from a family doctor in the past year.

Conclusions: The present study showed that the health-related quality of life of the Slovenian inhabitants is lower than the one found in some other European countries. This finding is surprising and also worrying. Because we cannot find any perceptible reason for this observation, larger and prospective studies are needed to confirm those results and to determine the reasons for that.

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March 2011
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